Personal sites

• My picks for the top ten of all time.
• My movie articles.
• My DVD collection.


The Internet Movie Database. The ultimate on-line resource.
Mr. Showbiz. A sometimes snarky take on showbiz gossip.
Hollywood Confidential. Jeffrey Wells is one of the better on-line columnists.
Weekly and all-time box office charts. The latter site isn't very informative if you go back more than a few years, but it's fun to compare domestic, overseas, worldwide and comparative grosses.
• The top 100 films of all time in adjusted dollars.


The Pacific Cinematheque. The best little art-movie theatre in Vancouver, it balances obscure documentaries and other little-seen films with major retrospectives of significant filmmakers and film genres. Quite possibly the worst popcorn in town, but otherwise a superb venue.
The Ridge Theatre. The seats are old and in dire need of replacement, but the popcorn here is pretty good and, best of all, this theatre boasts a wonderfully eclectic repertoire, freely mixing mainstream shlock with foreign films and offbeat indie flicks.

Reviews and commentaries

The Movie Review Query Engine. Everyone's got an opinion.
The Chicago Reader. Even when I don't agree with these people, I generally find their reviews very insightful.
Roger Ebert. The man has had some serious lapses in taste, but he's a gifted and articulate writer.
Christianity Today's Film Forum. Reviews from Christian and secular critics compiled on a weekly basis, with a dash of personal commentary, by my friend Jeffrey Overstreet; before him, the job belonged to Steve Lansingh. Eerily, they have been known to quote articles of my own.
Cornerstone Magazine. Infrequent, but insightful.
Hollywood Jesus. A bit too enthusiastic in its quest for religious symbolism ("Is that an allusion to the biblical burning bush when Joan Allen masturbates in the bathtub and a tree bursts into flame outside her house in Pleasantville?"), but informative and entertaining in its own right.
Movieguide. Dr. Ted Baehr's arch-conservative magazine tends to strain at gnats and swallow camels. Culture critic Gerry Bowler has taken a nice swipe at what he calls this web site's "Puritanism."
Christian Spotlight on the Movies. The reviews tend to be a tad conservative for my tastes, but this site allows readers to contribute their own comments, which makes for some interesting discussion.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

More in-depth stuff

The Journal of Religion and Film. Includes some rather insightful articles, such as Bryan P. Stone's piece exploring the various ways in which the past decade's most popular films have linked religion and violence.
• The true story behind The Exorcist.

Favorite books on film

Robert Jewett's Saint Paul at the Movies: The Apostle's Dialogue with American Culture (Westminster John Knox, 1993) and Saint Paul Returns to the Movies: Triumph over Shame (Eerdmans, 1998). Jewett uses films to illuminate key themes in the epistles of Paul. His second book sets Paul's thought within the honour-and-shame context of the ancient Mediterranean world, and it's profoundly affected both how I see films and how I read scripture. A must-read.
Margaret R. Miles's Seeing and Believing: Religion and Values in the Movies (Beacon, 1996).
William D. Romanowski's Pop Culture Wars (Intervarsity, 1996). A delightfully thorough history of film and other forms of popular culture that zeroes in on how North American moralists have stunted artistic growth on this continent and produced a juvenile culture. A worthy rebuttal to Michael Medved's Hollywood vs. America (HarperCollins, 1992).
Vito Russo's The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies (HarperCollins, revised 1987). An eye-opening read, and more incisive than the film which followed. I am fascinated by the portrayal of gays and lesbians in cinema, and by the response to those portrayals from within the gay community, partly because of the light they shed on how other invisible minorities -- including the Christian subculture in which I was raised -- are portrayed.
W. Barnes Tatum's Jesus at the Movies: A Guide to the First Hundred Years (Polebridge, 1997). Sticks to the basics, devoting one chapter to each of the major films about Jesus produced in the past century. I reviewed this one for The Vancouver Sun (June 13, 1998).

© 1999-2003 Peter T. Chattaway
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